WALTHAM, Mass., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TESARO, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRO), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced the results of the Our Way Forward survey — a national survey of patients and healthcare providers developed to better understand the unmet education and support needs of the advanced ovarian cancer community. Created with input from leading ovarian cancer advocacy groups — National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) — the results from the survey indicate that regardless of the stage of ovarian cancer, there is uncertainty among patients about what to expect after diagnosis — whether they are initially diagnosed or actively seeking greater resources and connections to lessen the burden of the disease.
The Our Way Forward survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of TESARO, Inc. between April 2017 and May 2017 among 254 women living with ovarian cancer and 232 physicians who treat ovarian cancer patients.
"Facing ovarian cancer can be extremely stressful and anxiety-provoking," said Stephanie V. Blank, MD, Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Director of Women's Health, Mount Sinai Downtown-Chelsea Center. "We can support survivors by better understanding their needs and perspectives, and how these evolve with time."
The survey reveals that around half (53 percent) of patients felt that ovarian cancer had a severe or very severe impact on their lives. For patients who are currently in treatment or who have been treated, about half (49 percent) admitted that they find not being sure of the path forward after diagnosis to be very or extremely challenging. According to the survey, more than two in five patients who are currently in treatment, or who have been treated, find not knowing what to expect during treatment (46 percent) or after treatment (47 percent) to be very or extremely challenging.
These findings were significantly pronounced in women surveyed who experienced a recurrence of their disease. Women who experienced recurrence were more likely than those who have not experienced a recurrence to say they currently feel fear (32 percent vs. 15 percent), anxiety (36 percent vs. 22 percent) and uncertainty (31 percent vs. 18 percent). The overwhelming majority (87 percent) of women who have experienced recurrence report the thought of cancer returning can be overwhelming and more than half (58 percent) report the period of remission when they are no longer receiving therapy is sometimes worse than going through treatment.
Understanding the gaps in perception among patients and healthcare providers, as well as anxiety and uncertainty that exists between the two, may help improve care and patient well-being throughout the ovarian cancer experience. More than seven in ten (71 percent) ovarian cancer patients reported getting very anxious before visits to their healthcare provider. More than a third (34 percent) of healthcare providers are unsure if, or do not feel that, they give their ovarian cancer patients all of the information they need about ovarian cancer.
There are also differences in how often patients and healthcare providers perceive they are having discussions about treatment and expectations for managing ovarian cancer.
Patients are craving information from their healthcare providers about expectations, treatment, recurrence and support. For example, 61 percent of patients said it would be very or extremely helpful to discuss with their healthcare provider how to cope with the unknown.
"We are incredibly grateful for the community's robust response to the survey," said Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and COO of TESARO. "As an organization, TESARO is committed to being a trusted partner to the ovarian cancer community and we hope to continue to work with NOCC and OCRFA to find a way forward on behalf of this underserved community and strengthen the emotional and education support that patients and oncologists have as it relates to ovarian cancer, no matter the stage of their disease."
Resources for Ovarian Cancer Patients
The survey was conducted as part of TESARO's Our Way Forward initiative (www.ourwayforward-oc.com), a call-to-action that encourages patients, their loved ones and physicians to rethink how they talk about advanced ovarian cancer and ways to partner together to navigate the physical and emotional challenges that the disease brings. As part of Our Way Forward, TESARO is committed to offering a series of resources for patients living with ovarian cancer, directly informed by the survey insights, including a discussion guide available for download that provides suggested questions and topics for the stages of ovarian cancer experience, including disease recurrence. TESARO is also partnering with "The Moth" for a special storytelling event, "Stories that Illuminate the Ovarian Cancer Experience," which will provide a forum for patients, advocates and physicians to share their stories and for everyone in attendance to learn more about how to strengthen conversations to facilitate patient care and well-being. The first Our Way Forward storytelling event will be hosted in Chicago in June.
About the Our Way Forward Survey
The Our Way Forward survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of TESARO, Inc. between April 13 and May 2, 2017, among 254 women 18+ years of age living in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Survey respondents were selected from individuals who had agreed to participate in surveys through the Harris Poll and their partners or were recruited to participate by patient advocacy organizations, NOCC and OCRFA. Results are representative of only those surveyed. A parallel survey was conducted between April 17 and May 5, 2017, among 232 physicians who treat ovarian cancer patients in the U.S. consisting of 201 medical oncologists and 31 gynecologic oncologists. Survey respondents were selected from physicians who had agreed to participate in surveys through the Harris Poll and their partners. More information about the campaign, full survey methods and survey findings, including important resources to enhance conversations about ovarian cancer, are available on the Our Way Forward website at www.ourwayforward-oc.com and via NOCC at ovarian.org and OCRFA at ocrfa.org.
About Ovarian Cancer
Approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the United States, and more than 65,000 women are diagnosed annually in Europe. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. Despite high-response rates to platinum-based chemotherapy in the second-line advanced treatment setting, approximately 85 percent of patients will experience recurrence within two years. Per NCCN guidelines, BRCA testing and genetic counseling remain important components of the medical workup for all patients upon a diagnosis with ovarian cancer.
About National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC)
Founded in 1991, the mission of the NOCC is to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for Survivors. Through national programs and local NOCC chapter initiatives, the NOCC's goal is to educate communities and increase awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. The NOCC also offers information to assist newly-diagnosed patients, hope to Survivors, and support to caregivers. The NOCC is also committed to the advancement of ovarian cancer research, specifically in funding the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team with Stand Up To Cancer®.
About Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA)
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) is the largest global organization dedicated to fighting ovarian cancer. OCRFA advances research to prevent, treat and defeat ovarian cancer, supports women and their families before, during and beyond diagnosis, and works with all levels of government to ensure ovarian cancer is a priority. As the largest non-government funder of ovarian cancer research, OCRFA invests in innovative, promising research. And OCRFA is the voice for the ovarian cancer community: fighting for more resources and policies on Capitol Hill, helping future health professionals recognize the disease through our Survivors Teaching Students® program, providing hope and insight by pairing newly diagnosed patients with our Woman to Woman program and connecting survivors at our Ovarian Cancer National Conference. We are united to defeat ovarian cancer. www.ocrfa.org
TESARO is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company devoted to providing transformative therapies to people bravely facing cancer. For more information, visit www.tesarobio.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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